I woke up to the sound of rain and had breakfast in the comfort of my hostel. Wasn’t pleasant as the food was cold 😟 I’m definitely not going to count this as my first official meal in Taipei.
Nevertheless, it got me going for this day. I’m so glad I bought my flowy skirt to wear because it’s so comfortable to wear and it’s cute to pair with my black sweater.
I didn’t have a plan for today except to get my sim card. I had to walk 10+mins to this store without Wi-Fi. I was surprised and thankful Google Maps could still track my location and I was able to get my sim card! Finally! The ladies were so nice and accommodating; made me forget yesterday’s frustration.
After getting my sim card and ensuring it works, I decided to just explore the area. It was convenient that the President Office was a minute away from the Chunghwa store. I decided against going in because of the security search and frankly, not bothered to get my passport out from my fanny pack hiding under my skirt. Too much trouble.
One thing that shocked me was how heavily guarded this place was. Security guards at every corner and all armed! One was even holding onto for rifle for dear life. I stared at that man’s rifle because it was the first time I’ve seen it in real life.
Moving along, I strolled through the 2/28 Peace Garden, saw the East Gate in which it reminds me of the Arc de Triomphe as it also acted as a roundabout.
The Gate was close to another tourist spot: Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. This spot was so grand as it has gates surrounding the memorial. There’s also a museum filled with latest exhibitions in the bottom floors of the memorial. Honestly, I was smart to go the museum as I didn’t want to climb the stairs up to the Memorial Hall in the rain. I took the elevator instead and got to be exposed to beautiful artworks in the process 😋
After this, I kept on walking along a main street in search for food. I kept on walking and walking till stores of food surrounded me. This spot was popular with everyone as there were a lot of shopping spots too. This district is called Dongmen. A lot of authentic Taiwanese restaurants and they also have Din Tai Fung!
I was planning on eating there because dumplings! But, when I passed by this small stall located in the corner of the bustling road, I knew I had to go and eat it. It’s the quintessential Taiwan dish: 牛肉面！
It was so good and I ordered a large size. Perfectly balanced in flavour and good amount of beef! Just next to this stall is. Very popular mango dessert store but I didn’t have the space in my stomach for if. Next time 🙂
And so, I went on another walk and found myself strolling towards this park. Mind you, it was raining but the natural scene was calling to me.
However, before that, I had to make a pit stop at this store where I purchased 2 good quality sweaters for 500NTD ($24).
Back to the park, it’s huge. No wonder it’s called a Forest Park. There’s undercover seatings all around the park which was so good because I could rest my feet and just peacefully listen to raindrops. Also, I saw cute squirrels running up and down the tree. They were so fast.
While the park was peaceful, I want food go indoors. I was contemplating going back to my hostel to organise my stuff and charge my phone when I saw that the public library was close by! I didn’t know if it’s the teacher in me but I had to go. So glad I did because I was able to read a book my Year 7s will read in 2020. HW accomplished!
After reading for a few hours, I headed back to my hostel to rest, revive and relax prior to heading out to dinner. I made plans with one of my friends who is also here on holiday and tonight was her last night in Taipei.
We had a great catch up in a new city and had one of the best KBBQ! Great service and we had free drinks (including beers, calpis, etc), a large variety of side dishes and unlimited order of meat for 2 hours. Oh! And I discovered ice cream and so, we had that. Hàagen-Dazs matcha ice cream is the bomb!
After our scrumptious and unforgettable dinner, we roamed around Ximending. I had a look at prospective frames I wanted to buy and was pleased with the results! I think I’ll definitely purchase one here but I still want to look at a few more shops.
We also passed by Taipei Tianhong Temple and prayed for a peaceful and auspicious 2020 🙏